The United States will not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapons states that are party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and are in compliance with their nuclear non-proliferation obligations, Frank Rose, Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance told an audience in a Side Event held in the United Nations Headquarters on October 6, 2016. In the panel discussion, Rose said that the US is committed to a policy of non-use and to the reduction of its nuclear arsenal. He pointed to the signing of the New START treaty in 2010 between the US and Russia, aimed at reducing global stocks of nuclear weapons, which both sides continue to implement and are on their way towards meeting the goal set by February 2018 – by then, both countries would have capped their lowest level in decades, he said.
Rose also pointed to the UN Security Council Resolution 2310 passed last month which he said builds support for the continued moratoria on nuclear explosive testing and builds broad international support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), adding that UNSCR 2310 is a “powerful step towards reducing reliance on nuclear weapons, lessening competition among nuclear powers and advancing responsible disarmament.”
Taking the floor next was Robert Scher, Assistance Secretary of defence for strategy, plans and capabilities. Scher said the trajectory of the US’s nuclear arsenal is heading towards a future where the role, number and type of nuclear weapons will be reduced, adding that the US arsenal is now 85% smaller relative to the Cold War peak.
The third panellist, Cynthia Lersten, Senior Advisor Department of Energy reiterated that the US is committed to “a path of reductions,” and that the US will not be conducting new nuclear missions and will not be adding new weapons to its stockpile.
Text by Jihan Abdalla